Through Generous donations of well wishers, the construction work for SHED has made good progress and they have moved to the new location in Sonapur. A comment from the founder Lanu Aimol sums up the association of AFNA with this wonderful organization – “Dear Sir, SHED classes has already started in its new location from yesterday 11/2/13 (Feb 11th). As on today SHED does not have any organization who support the way AFNA does so far. ...” (Received via email on Feb 12th).
We would like to profusely thank our supporters for their overwhelming support and involvement with the Solar Light project, which continues to receive a very positive feedback from the community that it serves. As of today, the Solar light: Power to People project has received US $ 6,901 through the Global Giving platform.
We are short of words as we describe the smiles on the faces of the children and the family members as they benefit from the solar lamp that they have received under this project. We have testimonials from the students sharing how pleased they are with the solar lamp which has not only increased their productivity after school but
also has helped them stay away from the adverse health effects of using kerosene lamps such as headaches and burning and itchy eyes.
We would like to share with you all that since the need of the hour was to support the children with the solar lamps, the project team after intensive deliberation and in consultation with the community members, decided that it would be given out free of cost to the children as against the earlier proposed system of micro loan, where the families would pay the cost through monthly installments. Once this was decided, the project team immediately contacted the local suppliers and shortlisted (after an intensive market research and competitive bidding process) a local company called Electro Plus. They bought a ‘central charging station’ along with a solar panel and 20 lamps. The company was assigned the job of installing the charging station as well as training the students on how to take care of the solar lamp while charging.
Every day, the children judiciously bring their solar lamps to the schools where they charge it during the day time in the charging station and after school they take it back with them. The children are getting an extra 3-4 hours for their studies in the evening due to solar lamp.
“Solar light is so eco friendly. We are not only learning how to take care of our solar lamps but also about the concept of renewable energy’, shares Manju, who is a student at the Parijat Academy. Uttam Teron, the implementing lead, shared that as the students and villagers are becoming aware about the solar lamp, they are
meeting him in large numbers with requests for it.
We want to conclude this report with a high note of enthusiasm and belief that with the support of our donors, we can help the remaining 500 students of Parijat Academy be proud owners of solar lamps.
Assam Foundation of North America (AFNA) lost one of its most trusted friend and partner in Assam with the untimely passing away of Mr. Kaushik Das, the founder of Atma Nirbhar ek Challenge. We had a very close relationship with Mr. Das, not only with the activities around Atma Nirbhar and Spreading Sunshine but also with several other projects of AFNA that he provided his support for – like Support a child, Soles for Tots, Guwahati Walk and Run, Friends magazine and the list goes on.
Our relationship extended far beyond these activities as several of our members developed close friendship with him over the years and felt a sense of fulfillment for being able to be associated with these projects that he almost single-handedly managed with such humility and a selfless attitude. Thus, he not only gave a dignified livelihood to the disabled people thru Atma Nirbhar but also helped able bodies like the volunteers of AFNA to lead a meaningful life by opening up and facilitating avenues to help the disabled people, underprivileged children and to spread joy and happiness among them through the Spreading Sunshine initiative.
With his demise on the fateful morning of January 17th, he has left us all in darkness, to fulfill so many of his dreams and plans that he had shared with his friends and well wishers.
Along with his relatives, the Atma Nirbhar family and numerous friends and well-wishers around the world we deeply mourn his untimely demise and pray that his soul rest in eternal peace. May the memories of the cherished moments that we spent with him, talking to him or reading his inspiring emails give us the strength to bear this insurmountable loss and guide us to work towards carrying on his mission to give a dignified life to the disabled and the underprivileged.